Tag Archives: Issa

Prairie Transformations

“The world of dew is the world of dew. And yet, and yet…” — Kobayashi Issa

*****

It’s cold. I’m tired. But I push myself out the door.

P1170337.jpg

The sun is just beginning to flood the world with light.

unknownprairieplantprairiewoodswatermarked31818.jpg

The burned prairie is flocked with white. An intersection between fire and ice.

frostedprairieburnprairiewoodswatermarked31818.jpg

As the cold earth warms under the rising sun, fog settles…

fogshadowsprairiewoodswatermarked31818P1170315.jpg

…casting prairie plants, covered with ice crystals, in sharp relief.

compassplantinfogprairiewoodswatermarked31818.jpg

Once familiar to us…

prairiewoodsbigbluewatermarked131818.jpg

…the grasses and wildflowers become something alien, exotic.

prairiewoodsbigblue231818watermarked.jpg

The Japanese poet, Kobayashi Issa, wrote: “Dew evaporates…

prairiewoodsswitchgrass231818watermarked.jpg

…and all our world is dew…

oaksavannaprairiewoodsafterburnwatermarked31818.jpg

…so dear, so fresh, so fleeting.”

Indiangrass1prairiewoods31818watermarked.jpg

This moment will quickly vanish. And no other morning will be quite like this one.

littlebluedewprairiewoods318.jpg

A good reason to keep showing up.

***

Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828), whose haiku opens this post, was a Japanese poet who is regarded as one of the great Japanese haiku masters. His life was marked by various tragedies: the loss of his first wife and children, a later, unhappy marriage; a house that burned to the ground. Another one of my favorite poems of his: “Reflected in the dragonfly’s eye—mountains.” And, “Don’t worry spiders, I keep house casually.”

***

All photos copyright Cindy Crosby at Prairiewoods tallgrass prairie and savanna, Hiawatha, Iowa: common mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum) unknown prairie plant covered with ice crystals;  burned prairie covered with ice; fog over burned prairie; compass plant (Silphium laciniatum) covered with ice in the fog; big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) covered with ice, big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)  covered with ice, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) with fog droplets; unknown oak leaf on burned prairie with ice crystals; Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) with fog droplets; little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) on frosted prairie.